Reviewer: Jo Beggs
A Man, A Plan, A Girl With Fake Tan, George Lewis’s 2018 Edinburgh show, is on tour, and lands close to home (he’s originally from Stockport) at the Lowry.
Before we get to it though, Lewis delivers twenty minutes of new material – mostly based on his recent marriage, baby and trips to IKEA. The local crowd – which seems to include a number of friends and family – makes Lewis swing a bit between comfortable (he knows he’s got allies here) and slightly ill at ease. His material is personal and self-deprecating, from his geeky childhood to his physical stature – and you can see why he might be more confident delivering it to a room full of strangers. This aside, he’s soon into the swing of it and nails some great routines and jokes.
No sooner has he got going with the new stuff, though, there’s a rather pointless interval which destroys the momentum, and when Lewis comes back on for A Man, A Plan, A Girl With Fake Tan it takes a while to bring the audience back along with him. Perhaps it’s just the change of pace. This is a heavily scripted show that Lewis has done dozens of times – a tightly structured take of how teenage George constructed a project to impress one of the coolest girls in school by channelling Liam Gallagher – from the songs to the swagger. There’s a real charm in Lewis’s attempt to become the bad boy he thinks Kim (‘the most beautiful, most orange girl in Stockport’) will fall for – from his awkward attempt at skiving off school to his lovelorn rap for Kim at the school talent show. In the latter – performed towards the end of the evening – he draws together all the strands of the show, resulting in a nice pay-off.
Given how many times Lewis must have performed A Man, A Plan, A Girl With Fake Tan, it’s a shame that he’s so thrown by technical issues with his laptop. When it goes down, and he’s left with no powerpoint, he’s temporarily silenced, again playing havoc with the pace of the show. He relies on the audience to get him back on track and, thanks to a generous and funny heckler, lighten the situation. There’s nothing on the powerpoint that Lewis needs to make the show work – he’d be perfectly fine to just carry on regardless.
Lewis has created an entertaining hour of comedy with A Man, A Plan, A Girl With Fake Tan. His delivery is amiable and he has a great connection with his audience. If his new material is anything to go by there’s a forthcoming show that will have the same comfortable charm. In the meantime, you can catch this one at tour venues across the country.
Reviewed on 17 March 2019 | Image: Contributed